The Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
Mary is the virgin and the one who will give birth to a son, but the focus of this verse is on the name Immanuel. Immanuel is at the very heart of Christmas. It’s a Hebrew name that means, “God with us.” Immanuel is the Word incarnate, God in human flesh, and the fulfilled promise that God Himself would be born to a virgin and dwell among us. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
If we were to sum up Christmas in one phrase, it would be “God with us.” It seems that we so often focus on the infancy of Jesus at Christmas when the more profound truth is the deity of Jesus. What we celebrate at Christmas is not so much the birth of a baby, but the incarnation of God Himself.” - RC Sproul. More than the celebration of a promised baby is that this baby is nothing less than the omnipotent, eternal God and Creator of heaven and earth. It’s this very baby, born in the likeness of men (Phil 2:7), who comes to live with us, die for us, and save us from our sins. This little baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger is named Jesus, born to save His people from their sins. She will give birth to a Son; and you shall name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).
The Message of Grace
Just as the name Immanuel is at the heart of the Christmas story so is the message of grace. In His loving mercy, God did for sinners what we could never do for ourselves. Jesus, both fully God and fully man, lived the perfectly obedient life we could never live, died the death we deserved, and satisfied the wrath and justice of God for our sins on our behalf. That’s why right before Jesus gave up His spirit, He said, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). Jesus did all the work. He paid it all for us and took away all our sins by nailing them to the cross (Col 2:14). In three days, Jesus rose again from the grave so that by grace through faith in Him, we may have eternal life.
As Jesus took the full punishment for our sins upon Himself, He gives us His perfect righteousness when we believe in Him. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinth 5:17). He clothes us in His robe of righteousness so that when God looks at you or me, He sees His Son - blameless, perfect, and without blemish. How amazing is that?! And He loves us with an eternal love because He chose us before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4-5) and gifted us with our faith to believe in Jesus and be saved. Salvation is a free gift. Salvation is of the Lord (Psalm 3:8, Psalm 62:1). It’s truly all of grace (Eph 2:8-9).
God could’ve never revealed Himself more fully in any other form or in any other way than by giving us His Son Jesus so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). And that’s what Christmas is all about. It’s the celebration that The Savior of the world is born. He is our blessed hope, our only hope. In Christ, and only in Christ is there is life, eternal life! And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life (1 John 15:11).
Dear Heavenly Father,
I praise You for sending Your Son Jesus to save me from my sins and gift me with eternal life, by the gift of Your grace. Christmas is my favorite time of the year. To me, the reason why Christmas feels so magical is because Christmas tells us the truth, and I believe it. It feels magical because Jesus is real, and I believe Him. What could feel more magical than believing the objective truth that God Himself was born a human and came to live with us and save us from our sins, gifting us with eternal life? Jesus is the reason for the season. He is the reason for every single day and every single moment.
I pray to be a blessing to others this Christmas season and point everyone to Jesus, the baby in the manger who created heaven and earth and the reason for life itself. He is our Lord. He is our Savior. He is our joy and our blessed hope. Jesus is the ultimate gift and the greatest treasure.
Merry Christmas, everyone! May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you this Christmas season and always.
All glory belongs to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In His name, I pray amen!
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6
Salvation belongs to the Lord; May Your blessing be upon Your people! (Psalm 3:8)
My soul waits in silence for God alone; From Him comes my salvation (Psalm 62:1)